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“Special Feature – Coronavirus Update .”

We are living through surreal times. The Coronavirus, or using its scientific name, COVID 19 has become a pandemic that has swept across the globe at an alarming pace, not only threatening lives but livelihoods. Some economists believe the global economy may contract with the impact being larger than the 2009 financial crisis. The OECD projects global GDP growth to drop to 2.4% in 2020 from 2.9% in 2019, with a possibility that growth in Q 1 2020 will be negative, and that’s assuming outbreaks in other countries can be contained. If the outbreak is longer lasting and spreads widely, global growth could drop to 1.5% in 2020 or even risk drifting into a recession if the virus intensifies.

On the petrochemicals side, the collapse in consumer demand is expected to weaken global trade flows. This month, plants in China gradually started coming back online after the easing of containment measures and manufacturing activities began to pick up slowly. Activity in Chinese ports has also started to recover from early March. However, demand is falling in other parts of the world as the virus spreads. Old tentative volumes are either now reduced or cancelled in receiving countries, and most noticeably…

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